Time to get off the couch and RunWalk!

2018 Vancouver Sun Run InTrainingWeek 1
Training Tips with Olympic Medalist RunWalk Coach Lynn Kanuka

“It all starts with a voice inside…”

I have no idea some 40 years ago what possessed me to head out for a run along Wascana Parkway in Minus 30 degrees in Regina, Saskatchewan.  It was 1.5 miles to the university and back from my home. You can bet nobody looked at me that day all bundled up in the cold and thought “that girl will race around the world representing our country, and stand on an Olympic podium!”  My intention back then was simple: I remember wanting to do something active for myself that was totally my own, and it’s that same personal feeling that still gets me out the door for a run or walk nearly every day. I understand what it means to make a start.  To struggle a little bit.  To find a way to fit a workout in amidst our busy lives. My days as a serious athlete are long past, but I’ve never enjoyed my running more because I know that it makes me feel motivated, vibrant, and helps me keep the demands of the day in stride. It’s become my passion to help others find the motivation to get off that couch and move because it simply Feels Good. Barring unforeseen circumstances most everyone can walk or run, as long as you don’t do too much too fast too soon.  It’s the impact that gets you every time if you don’t have a proper program with some guidance and support.

You’ve already made the biggest decision by deciding to join your clinic and make a start. I’ll have the privilege of guiding you as your virtual coach with tips and stories every week, and your clinic leaders will ensure you have the best possible support along the way. After 23 years of SportMed Sun Run InTraining, and literally thousands of success stories, I know you can do it!  Vancouver Sun Run 2018 here we come!

WATCH Week 1 Video Tip HERE

READ Detailed Coaching Advice HERE.

*IF joining a clinic doesn’t work for you, and you’d like to do your OWN RUNWALK ON YOUR OWN TIME then join me directly here – you’re first 2 weeks are FREE to make a start:


It’s Week Number One either way, and here we go with a few simple tips to get you started:

  1. Encourage a friend to join the InTraining Program with you! Take this journey towards better health & fitness TOGETHER! Don’t forget that for every friend/family member you refer to the program, you can enter to each win a pair of Vancouver Canucks tickets! More info HERE
  2. Make sure you have a proper pair of shoes that will support your bio-mechanics and foot type. Visit one of the SunRun Stores for expert advice: Peninsula Runners, Racquets and Runners, The Right Shoe, or Fit First Footwear.
  3. Be honest about your fitness and choose the program that’s right for you! Ask your Clinic Coordinator and/or your leaders if you have any questions.
  4. Decide when you will schedule your 3, one-hour training sessions per week –  and give them the same priority you would any other important meeting you might have in your calendar!
  5. Keep to a nice easy talking pace. Don’t be tempted to do too much, too soon – as this may lead to injury and burn-out.

Walk/NordicWalk10K: Whether you are a beginner or already an avid walker, this program will provide you with a comfortable progression of distances and change-of-pace intervals to ensure you progress at your own level.

LearnToRun10K: If you have never run before, or have not done any running for more than three months – this is the program for you! You will notice the gradual progression in which the walking time decreases and the running time increases, so that by the end of 13 weeks you will be ready to RunWalk the Vancouver Sun Run 10K with magical “10-and-ones”!  10 minutes of running alternated with 1 minute of walking.

New! RunWalk10K: This is an intermediate progression for those who are not yet avid runners but are a little beyond learning to run. If you’ve completed the LearnToRun program and are ready to incorporate more running but still enjoy the walk recoveries, then this is the right choice for you.

Run10KStronger: If you are comfortable running on your own, 2-3 times per week for at least 30 minutes, then you are ready for this program. The introduction of brisk running intervals will help you run more efficiently and help you to progress and run faster, depending on your own personal goals.

Smiles and good luck with Week 1!
Coach Lynn Kanuka
SportMed’s Olympic Medalist and RunWalk Coach

4 Nutrition Habits of Successful Runners

Looking to become a better runner this year?  Whether it is your first time running or you’re trying to beat last year’s personal best, follow these 4 nutrition habits that will set you up for success this running season.
1. CARBS ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS…and protein too!
Don’t expect to run faster if you’re skipping on carbohydrate rich foods, in fact you’ll be doing just the opposite not to mention increasing your chances of getting injured. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread/ cereal, pasta, starchy vegetables and fruits are excellent choices that will keep you fueled.
Although carbohydrates are important in keeping you energized, protein is just as important in controlling your appetite. Aim to have at least one carbohydrate and one protein rich food at each meal. For example, this can be an oatmeal bowl topped with fruits and nuts for breakfast, grilled chicken or tofu wrapped in whole grain tortilla for lunch, and a meat roast with roasted sweet potatoes and your favorite veggies for dinner. Still hungry? You can always add yogurt/ cheese or fruit to your meal to feel more satisfied.
Preparing your lunch box to work? Pack extra snacks to keep you satisfied between meals. Even if you are leaving the house for a couple of hours to run errands, have an emergency snack on you just in case hunger kicks in. Running burns quite some energy so it is normal to feel hungry every 2-3 hours. Best way to keep energized in between meals and avoid arriving famished at dinner time is packing snacks to go. Easy energy-dense portable snacks can be nut bars, trail mix or a homemade muffin/ fruit bread.
If you want to save yourself from getting hangry and finishing a box of cookies by yourself, start running to the kitchen immediately after each training to grab a recovery snack or meal. Exercise causes some muscle tear and damage but also makes your muscles receptive to nutrients like carbs and protein within 2h of working out. This means, if you eat within 2h, you will have a more speedy recovery allowing for faster muscle repair. Chicken or egg sandwich, granola and yogurt bowl or peanut butter and banana toast are all excellent carb and protein recovery foods.
If you don’t have much appetite after a hard workout or a run, you will still need to get some energy in. Liquids like chocolate milk or a homemade smoothie are easier to digest and are a great carb-protein combination for refueling.
It’s 5 AM, the third time you hit the snooze button and you are already wishing you didn’t stay up last night watching your favorite show. You still manage to drag yourself out of bed and finish your run with a mediocre time. It is no surprise that when you’re tired, running feels like a chore. Over time, poor sleep can weaken your immune system, decrease your performance and affect your post-run recovery. This means, you’ll increase your chances of catching a cold or getting injured and you’ll soon be running to the doctor.
In today’s 24/7 world, it can be challenging to get a good night’s sleep, be social, work hard and stick to a strict training schedule. The good news is, if you don’t get a restful night sleep, taking naps during the day is beneficial in keeping your overall sleep quality. You can also try to plan your training week ahead of time. For example, plan your short runs on your busiest week days and keep the long runs for less hectic days or the weekend. If Thursdaynights are your social nights out, then plan a rest day on Friday.

Melissa Kazan MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian & Sport Nutritionist
Fortius Sport & Health

About Lynn Kanuka

Olympian, Coach, StreetStrider, Corporate Challenge Coach, Event Organizer, Deep Water Runner, Motivational Speaker, Nordic Walking Coach.... My days as a serious athlete are long past, but I'll always be a runner. I love its simplicity. I'd love to help you discover how easy running can be: Walk — Jog — Run or Stride. I know you can do it.
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